Developing LGBTQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence: Key findings and future directions
This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research Developing LGBTQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence.
Developed under the guidance of a project reference group comprised of key academics, clinicians and researchers in the areas of LGBTQ theory and practice, domestic and family violence interventions and social work practice, this research highlights the need to support the LGBTQ community in developing readiness to recognise domestic and family violence, and then seek support.
- Domestic and family violence (DFV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) occur in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) relationships.
- Identifying and responding to LGBTQ DFV/IPV can present specific challenges.
- LGBTQ people who wish to change their violent and abusive behaviours, or seek support after experiencing violence and abuse, may struggle to find and access appropriate interventions.
- LGBTQ people represent a diverse and non-homogeneous group who have differing needs not likely to be met with a one-size-fits-all approach.
- DFV/IPV in LGBTQ relationships can be difficult to identify and understand due to the “heterosexual face” of domestic violence.
- DFV/IPV in LGBTQ relationships can involve unique tactics of abuse, including identity-based abuse.
- Trauma from discrimination and stigma (minority stress) impact experiences of DFV/IPV for LGBTQ community members, but are not directly causal.
- LGBTQ community readiness to recognise DFV/IPV and seek support, as well as service responses to LGBTQ people experiencing DFV/IPV, must be strengthened.
- Improve recognition and understanding of LGBTQ DFV/IPV among DFV and mainstream service providers and LGBTQ communities.
- Increase DFV sector and police workforce confidence and skills for engaging with LGBTQ people experiencing DFV/IPV.
- Develop and trial tailored programs to ensure that the unique and diverse needs among LGBTQ populations are addressed.
A NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY
DFV terminology can be misinterpreted by LGBTQ people, as there is a tendency for “family violence” to be associated with ostracism/abuse from parents and relatives rather than with intimate partners. To counter some of the challenges with identifying abuse in LGBTQ relationships, and to capture the diversity of LGBTQ living arrangements and relationship styles, this research has chosen to combine domestic and family violence (DFV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) terminology.
ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Developing LGBTQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence (Research to policy and practice, 10/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.